Love it or hate it, 3D is here to stay it seems.
Ok, why buy aftermarket 3D glasses when they give you some "free" at the theater?
Several reasons (completely ignoring the fact that the Free glasses aren't free since you're paying a premium for 3D). The 3D glasses they give you are made to last you 2-3 hours, then be dumped into a recycling bin. The lenses are cheap plastic film, not really optical grade by any stretch. The film is also not a neutral grey, which would at least keep the colors of the movie you're viewing accurate (though darker). And lastly, they are darker!
I've tried two sets of 3D glasses so far, and a friend has let me play with his set. These are all REALD format 3D glasses, and do not work with IMAX 3D movies as they use a different filtering system to project their 3D. All these glasses will work at any typical theater that's sporting the ReadD logo.
Rumor has it that RealD might be available in home sometime soon! That means no tethering yourself to your TV!
The more expensive set I bought was the Gunnar Optiks Phenom which were pimped for the release of Tron Legacy in 3D. These are $100 a pair, and made of lightweight aluminum and true optics grade lenses.
The higher end Midnight version of the Gunnar Optiks glasses even have an Anti-Glare coating.
These glasses are stylish, light, comfortable, and the image quality looking through them is GREAT! I did however sense a slight tint to them that didn't seem to my eyes a neutral grey. Add to that, the sand-blasted aluminum finish actually showed a hint of reflection. They are however the lightest (least amount of) tint of any of the 3D glasses I've tried.
While the Gunnar are great glasses, I wish they were more wrap around, and at the price I would expect them to come with the Anti-Glare/Anti-Reflection coating.
The glasses I'm currently sporting are the Polaroid Diva model. They address most of my issues with the Gunnar glasses by being a deep wrap around style.
These were only $30 purchased at Amazon. They had several different styles ranging from the Ray Ban looking, to ones that can cover your normal glasses for those of you with prescription glasses. Ignoring the name, I went for the wrap-arounds.
These are a little darker than the Gunnar, but addressed the glare issues by wraping around my face well, and are decently light enough to not leave a dent on my nose after 2 hours in a theater. They came with a semi-hardshell case and microfiber cloth. The tint on these seemed more neutral grey than the Gunnar (which are supposed to be superiorly neutral grey). These were clearly worth the $30 I paid for them, and they made last nights movie much more enjoyable than with the throw-away glasses they give out. I'm looking forward to the animated 3D features coming out this year!
Lastly, a friend of mine bought a pair (before the Polaroid were readily available) from some online store that sold nothing but RealD glasses. They were $32 shipped, and are decent quality glasses for made in China. I felt my Polaroid ones were a bit sharper, but his were pretty decent quality.
Just today I noticed other stores are now carrying 3D glasses. Or at least what it appears is that you can get most of their styles with 3D lenses.
Something like this:
All in all, I'm sticking with the Polaroid RealD glasses, they do what I need, and were only $30 shipped from Amazon.